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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pacific Fleet Ships Deployed in Sea of Okhotsk Amid Snap Drills

RIA Novosti

03:54 14/07/2013

MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) - Six naval task forces from Russia's Pacific Fleet were deployed in the Sea of Okhotsk on Saturday evening amid a large-scale surprise combat readiness check, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The naval task groups are to perform "anti-submarine and air defense exercises" in the area, the ministry said.

A part of Pacific Fleet forces will also train anti-piracy efforts as part of the exercises.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the snap drills Friday evening. It is the third surprise combat readiness check since January and follows a major shake-up at the top of a military establishment tarnished by persistent evidence of rampant corruption.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Saturday said that up to 160,000 servicemen are involved in the large-scale exercises in the Eastern Military District, double the number initially reported.

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